The Minister of Health Mr Alex Sergbefia, has described the 1,500 annual deaths of Ghanaian women from cervical cancer as alarming and unacceptable.
He said every year, 3,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ghana representing 35 per cent of all female cancers.
The Minister was addressing a sensitization workshop on cervical and breast cancers organised by the Ministry of Health for women in the health sector to mark this year’s International Women’s Day in Accra.
The day was set aside to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played extraordinary roles in the history of their countries and communities.
Mr Sergbefia said cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and deaths among females in Ghana as well as other developing countries.
He said there were over 153,000 types of cancers with more than 11 million people being diagnosed every year and causing seven million deaths annually.
Cervical cancer, he said, often affected women at the end of their reproductive years from 40 to 50 years, though changes in the body that lead to the cancers could start early from the adolescent age.
He asked women to get themselves tested and treated when diagnosed and also to always report to the health facility when they detected any unusual changes on their skin.
Mrs Doris Adjei, the Principal Nursing Officer in charge of Family Planning and Cenicare at the Ridge Hospital who made a presentation on Cervical Cancer, expressed concern that Ghanaian women do not seek early diagnosis.
She urged them to always seek early treatment and ensure that they demanded early testing as a right to prevent the spread of the disease and to be managed when detected.
Other cancers affecting women include Breast Cancer which also has a huge toll on their lives.